Deploying SQL Server 2016 Basic Availability Groups Without Active Directory. Part 2: Configuring SQL Server
Posted by Edwin M Sarmiento on November 23, 2017

In the previous blog post, I’ve walked you thru the process of creating the Windows Server 2016 Failover Cluster  (WSFC) that is not joined to an Active Directory Domain. It is very important that you get the underlying WSFC properly configured and stabilized before you even attempt to create the SQL Server 2016 Always On Basic Availability Group. The availability and reliability of your SQL Server 2016 Always On Basic Availability Group depends so much on the WSFC.

If you have previously configured Always On Availability Groups, you will notice that most of the steps provided are similar to configuring it with Active Directory. But because there is no centralized directory service for managing accounts, you will need to rely on certificates for authenticating communication between replicas. You need to use T-SQL to accomplish those tasks.

Microsoft SQL Server logo



Deploying SQL Server 2016 Basic Availability Groups Without Active Directory. Part 1: Building the Platform
Posted by Edwin M Sarmiento on October 31, 2017


When Availability Groups were introduced in SQL Server 2012, they were only available in Enterprise Edition. This made it challenging to move from Database Mirroring to Availability Groups, especially if you’re running Standard Edition.  To upgrade and migrate from Database Mirroring in Standard Edition, you either choose to upgrade to a more expensive Enterprise Edition license and implement Availability Groups or stick with Database Mirroring and hope that everything works despite being deprecated.

SQL Server 2016 introduced Basic Availability Groups in Standard Edition, allowing customers to run some form of limited Availability Groups. Customers now have a viable replacement for Database Mirroring in Standard Edition. However, unlike Database Mirroring, Availability Groups require a Windows Server Failover Cluster (WSFC). SQL Server database administrators now need to be highly skilled in designing, implementing and managing a WSFC outside of SQL Server. Because the availability of the SQL Server databases relies heavily on the WSFC.

SQL Server 2016 logo


Cost and License considerations between Always On Availability Groups and Always On Basic Availability Groups
Posted by Shashank Singh on October 17, 2017

Windows Server edition considerations

With Windows Server 2012 and above, Standard Edition now has full support for clustering, not just simple 2-node active/passive clusters, but fully configured clustering support.  Before Windows Server 2012, only Windows Server Enterprise Edition could support Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC). Starting from Windows Server 2012, clustering got a huge licensing cost reduction.

The cost of Windows Server 2012 Standard is almost the same as that of Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, but Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition has almost 26% price increase. There is no difference throughout feature support between Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter edition; the major difference is that Standard only supports hosting of 2 virtual machines (by default), while in Datacenter this is unlimited. You can host more than 2 VMs on Standard, but that will imply an extra cost.



High Availability and Disaster Recovery with SQL Server AlwaysOn: FCI quick walk through
Posted by Bogdan Savchenko on September 19, 2017


Greetings, fellow sysadmins and everyone who is still wondering how to make their SQL server highly available! You’re just in time since I’ve prepared for you detailed guidelines with pictures and explanations on how to achieve this goal by using the SQL Server AlwaysOn approach! The great thing is that we are also going to configure and review the full-fledged system with the disaster recovery scenarios implemented. I’ve decided to break this topic into 3 parts. First, we will go through the process of configuring AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instance (FCI), the next part of this series will cover the deployment of a DR site for our cluster using AlwaysOn Availability Groups, and finally, we will learn more about how to achieve the same using 3rd party software.

shared storage configuration for Primary Data Center